John Lakin presents his Gospel show at Irmo

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By Kevin Olivier | [email protected]

For more than a decade, Columbia gospel artist John Lakin has been a force on the regional worship music scene.
His Youth on a Mission choirs of young singers have lifted many voices with performances around the area, from local churches to the Township Auditorium in downtown Columbia. Lately, he’s taken to the airwaves to bring the gospel message in song, with “John Lakin and Friends” airing Sunday mornings on WACH FOX 57.
The show features singers and worship leaders from across the region and national entertainers such as Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson as special guests, along with guest speakers who bring the gospel message in word and song.
It’s this show that Lakin will perform at the Harbison Theater at Midlands Tech this weekend, an extended live presentation that promises to bring “gospel music history” to the stage. This is an opportunity for Lakin to show what he does best, bringing people together to serve and praise through music, in a place other than a local place of worship.
But make no mistake, there will be church to theater during this show, in the grand tradition of black gospel. It’s a tradition that may point to rock ‘n’ roll descendants of Little Richard and Aretha Franklin, but it has also retained its own identity within the church, from traditional Jubilee quartets to contemporary mass choirs. which feature dozens of singers in a choir. structure that is always linked to the sacred blues of the beginning of the call and response. The latter is what Lakin typically offers, in a smaller set format. A backing band of a dozen singers anchor his shows, with various performers stepping in to lead the songs as Lakin urges the crowd like a heaven-sent hype man.
Lakin’s importance in all of this is that he’s not just another singer. He’s an enabler, one who knows the history but appreciates his contemporaries who are doing great things musically in the genre. On his television show, Lakin has the opportunity to showcase both classic worship songs and the new voices that sing them, a powerful combination that can only strengthen and perpetuate music ministry, which is the ultimate goal. of anyone who is a “church” musician.

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